Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has signed an Executive Instrument (EI) to declassify portions of the Achimota Forest as no longer a forest reserve.
The EI 144, gazetted on April 19, 2022, indicates that the area ceases to be recognized as a forest reserve from May 1, 2022.
A copy of the document, which has gone viral on social media, said the president is satisfied that the land specified is no longer required as a forest reserve and has indicated that the ecological integrity of an adjoining forest reserve should be protected.
“The District Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority with jurisdiction over the land specified in the schedule, shall, within three months after the coming into force of this instrument, prepare for the approval of the Minister [of Lands], a master plan for the development of the land specified in the schedule,” the document noted.
It further said the Minister of Lands shall not approve any development on the land unless he is satisfied that the development is among other things in “accordance with the master plan developed by the District Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority and approved by the Minister and does not adversely affect the ecological integrity of an adjoining forest reserve.”
Ghanaians react on social media
Meanwhile, lots of Ghanaians are unhappy with the declassification move and have taken to social media to take a dig at the government even before a full explanation is offered.
This move comes at a time when the government is embarking on a tree planting exercise to restore the country’s greenery amid concerns about the impact of climate change.